Consumers Health Forum meets Minister, welcomes her backing for consumer-led solutions

The Consumers Health Forum has met Health Minister, Susan Ley, today and welcomed her receptive response to our call for consumer-led health solutions.

“Minister Ley’s plans for trials of Health Care Homes are a promising start. We would like to see the Government turbo-charge this development so that all patients can access consumer-centred community-based health care teams across Australia,” the CEO of Consumers Health Forum, Leanne Wells, said.

“The Minister has acknowledged to us the importance of consumer-centred services. We welcome her philosophy to ensure Government health dollars are spent as close as possible to the patient.

“We have an ambitious agenda for the development of the Health Care Homes concept but it will require significantly more Government funding.

“The Minister faces great challenges in reshaping health services at a time when the Federal Budget is under pressure. We believe the steps she needs to take to set a longer term plan for the health of the nation will be boosted by ensuring the focus for decisions is kept on the needs of patients and consumers and on a mature, informed conversation with consumers about the choices that need to be made in order to get the best value health system for the taxpayers’ health dollar.

“The lesson from the election is that Australians deeply value Medicare and the principle of universal access. The way Medicare serves the community does need reform in areas like primary care and services for the chronically ill. We can succeed if we ensure the principle of universal access is upheld and any changes are developed in active consultation with consumers.

“We were reassured today that the Minister is keen to pursue consumer-led health solutions.

now needs to see real action over the next three years that delivers for patients.
“In improving and modernising Medicare, we must address limitations of fee for service, and ramp up the Medicare benefits system review to stimulate best practice and weed out waste and outmoded services. And we need to see the benefits of digital technology now taken for granted in other spheres rolled out in health care to deliver better targeted, coordinated and effective services.

“The Primary Health Networks open a new era of Commonwealth- states cooperation including public-private partnerships. By planning and commissioning regionally in consultation with consumers, clinicians and communities, more responsive and targeted services are within our reach.

“These developments must be spear-headed by real commitment to health care arrangements that will deliver value, invest in innovation and preserve universal access through Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

CHF’s priorities on behalf of Australia’s healthcare consumers for the 45th Parliament include:

  • Commonwealth leadership on primary health care to drive patient centred health care homes
  • Consolidate Primary Health Networks as regional commissioning organisations to foster place-based, consumer centred health care
  • Pharmacy reform to support new roles for pharmacists and progressive future pharmacy policy
  • Workforce reform to spur integrated care including by specialist and allied health practitioners outside hospitals
  • The national roll-out of personally-controlled electronic health records
  • Reform to the private health insurance arrangements to deliver better consumer value.


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Jenna Gray

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